Born at 23 weeks: A family’s story of survival

NZ Herald 26 November 2017
Family First Comment: #NotABlobOfTissue

When baby Holly arrived after only 23 weeks’ gestation, time slowed and every milestone was treasured.

At neonatal care units across the country the smallest leaps and bounds are celebrated.

One millilitre of milk for feeding turns into two, then three, and so on. Incremental weight gains are successes, so is being able to wipe your baby’s eyes, change its nappy, and then- incredibly- have the first cuddle.

“It’s a big rollercoaster,” Sarah Blaney says.

“The hardest part is when they are little, they talk about long term being a few hours. Your friends and family are saying, ‘will she survive?’ (But) you have to take it hour by hour.”In March 2013 Sarah and David Blaney were looking forward to meeting their first child, a girl, due in July.

But at 23 weeks Sarah went into labour and baby Holly was born weighing just 640g- slightly bigger than a block of butter.

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